Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Tsakoniko Dance

The Dance of Tsakonia

...The Tsakonian dance is executed with the right arm of one dancer hooked tightly in another's crooked elbow. In this way, lateral movement is limited.

The origin of the dance has provoked many interpretations the most prevalent opinions of which suggest that it is based on the dance of the crane or of the Pythia. The first opinion (that of Dora Stratou and her school) supports the theory that the dance represents Theseus� attempt to find a way out of the Labyrinth. It was executed in Delos and from there it spread to Asia Minor and to other cities in Greece, however it was preserved in south Cynuria. The second opinion supports the claim that the Tsakonian dance originated from the crane dance, from which it broke away in continuance and represents Apollo's victorious fight against the huge serpent, Python at Delphi. In other words it retains the labyrinthine style of the crane, but choreographically represents the movement of the serpent. The sacred dance of Minoan Crete was brought to the east coasts of the Peloponnese and was preserved by the Achaeans of Laconia who took refuge on the inaccessible Parnon range in order to avoid slavery and the ruthlessness of the Dorians. With the domination of the twelve Olympian gods, the inhabitants dedicated the sacred dance to Apollo, who according to archaeological information was the principle god already worshipped in ancient Cynuria from archaic times.

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